The Soviet program for peaceful uses of nuclear explosions
The Soviet program for peaceful uses of nuclear explosions The concept of utilizing the weapons of war to serve the peaceful pursuits of mankind is as old as civilization itself. Perhaps the most famous reference to this basic desire is recorded in the Book of Micah where the great prophet Isiah called upon his people `to turn your spears into pitchforks and your swords into plowshares.` As the scientists at Los Alamos worked on developing the world`s first atomic bomb, thoughts of how this tremendous new source of energy could be used for peaceful purposes generally focused on using the thermal energy generated by the slow fission of uranium in a reactor, such as those being used to produce Plutonium to drive electric power stations. However, being scientists in a new, exciting field, it was impossible to avoid letting their minds wander from the task at hand to other scientific or non-military uses for the bombs themselves. During the Manhattan Project, Otto Frisch, one of the pioneers in the development of nuclear fission process in the 1930s, first suggested using an atomic explosion as a source for a large quantities of neutrons which could used in scientific experiments designed to expand their understanding of nuclear physics. After the war more »
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